Although this story is written in fairly simple language it is strangely difficult to follow. The setting is that of one man, an old ship's officer, telling another of the same a long story. The language slides between the two men, lighting pipes, making and answering comments, and so forth, and then back into the detail of the story, and sometimes deeper still, into conversations that take place in the story.
This has its effect on the use of quotation signs. This is the hardest part of this book to edit. There are rules involving the use of these signs, and most books obey them all the way through, but in this book either the author was being experimental, or the typesetter was a bit confused. Because of the sliding in and out of the depth of the story, the quotes rules often vary from one paragraph to the next. What we have done is to make the quotes rules hold true for each individual paragraph right through the book, and as far as possible we have made the rules consistent from paragraph to paragraph. This is the second time that we have scanned the same copy of this book, and we just hope that we have made a good job of it.
Conrad, Joseph, originally Jozef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski (1857-1924) Polish-born British novelist, born in Berdichev, in the Polish Ukraine, now in the USSR. His father was a revolutionary of literary gifts - he translated Victor Hugo’s Les Travailleurs de la mer - who was exiled to Vologda in 1862. In 1878 Joseph joined an English merchant ship and was naturalised in 1884 when he gained his certificate as a master. In the ten years that followed, he sailed between Singapore and Borneo, and this gave him an unrivalled background of mysterious creeks and jungle for the tales to follow. There was also an interlude in the Belgian Congo which provided exotic colour for his Heart of Darkness, one of his three finest short stories, the others being Youth and Typhoon. In 1896 he married and settled at Ashford in Kent, where he lived in seclusion for the rest of his days. Conrad’s first novel was Almayer’s Folly (1894), and then followed An Outcast of the Islands (1896), The Nigger of the Narcissus (1897), Lord Jim (1900), Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907) and Under Western Eyes (1911) before Chance (1914) made him famous. It was only then that Lord Jim was recognised as a masterpiece. Perhaps the short story was his true medium - Tales of Unrest (1898), Youth (1902) and Twixt Land and Sea (1912). His semi-autobiographical The Mirror and the Sea and his Personal Record testify to his high artistic aims. He also wrote Victory (1919), but his later works, The Arrow of Gold (1919) and The Rescue (1920), owed their popularity largely to his earlier work.
With acknowledgements to Chambers Biographical Dictionary.
A PDF of scans and an HTML version of this book are provided. We also provide a plain TEXT version and full instructions for using this to make your own audiobook. To find these click on the PDF, HTML or TXT links on the left.
These transcriptions of books by various nineteenth century authors of instructive books for teenagers, were made during the period 1997 to the present day by Athelstane e-Books. Most of the books are concerned with the sea, but in any case all will give a good idea of life in the nineteenth century, and sometimes earlier than that. This of course includes attitudes prevalent at the time, but frowned upon nowadays.
We used a Hewlett-Packard scanner, a Plustek OpticBook 3600 scanner or a Nikkon Coolpix 5700 camera to scan the pages. We then made a pdf which we used to assist with editing the OCRed text.
To make a text version we used TextBridge Pro 98 or ABBYY Finereader 7 or 8 to produce a first draft of the text, and Athelstane software to find misreads and improve the text. We proof-read the chapters, and then made a CD with the book read aloud by either Fonix ISpeak or TextAloud MP3. The last step enables us to hear and correct most of the errors that may have been missed by the other steps, as well as entertaining us during the work of transcription.
The resulting text can be read either here at the Internet Archive or at www.athelstane.co.uk
The PDF version is constructed from 300 dpi scans. To get best value set "Use Logical Page Numbers" to "ON" in Edit/Preferences/Page Display of your PDF viewer. To obtain the HTML file find the area on the left of this page which has PDF, HTML and TXT in it, and click on HTML. In this version the entire book appears in the one file, which also includes the style-sheet and any pictures, and is written in xhtml. The larger of the two TXT files is what you need to create an audiobook, using for instance Text Aloud MP3. The smaller of the two TXT files contains full instructions for doing so.
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